Searching for a complete list WordPress SEO plugins?
This goes way beyond Yoast. It dives into rich snippets, redirects, alt text, SSL, and even Google’s Site Kit plugin (still in beta). The speed optimization plugins include 20 in itself.
I’ve been writing WordPress SEO + speed tutorials since 2011 – I am a complete nerd about this stuff. I only included the best SEO plugins (no duplicates) and most of which I use myself.
You can install as many WordPress SEO plugins as you like, and it can help. But that’s not what Google wants – they want you creating better content than the top results. Selecting long-tail keywords, then using a TOC and writing long (3,000+ word) organized content, is a good start.
Here’s the list…
1. Yoast SEO
Most people already have Yoast, but few use it correctly. Here are some less-known Yoast tips.
4 Keyword Steps For Using Yoast
- Configure ideal settings
- Setup Webmaster Tools
- Research focus keywords
- Optimize content (for keywords)
There’s More To On-Page Than Keywords – getting green lights in Yoast won’t make pages rank high. Selecting long-tail keywords with weak content in the top results, then creating better content, will. Don’t obsess over them – spend more time on keyword research, add a user-friendly table of contents, create a video/infographic, aim for 3,000 words, and add practical how-to tips. The most important place to use your keyword is your page title, SEO title, meta description, and permalink (slug). Keyword stuffing can actually get you penalized.
Don’t Use Snippet Variables – In Yoast’s settings, there’s an option to use snippet variables (templates) for SEO titles + meta descriptions. You should avoid these at all costs, since writing custom ones is always better. This makes sure you stay within Google’s character limits (the green bar) and is also your chance to entice people to click your link, resulting in more clicks.
Optimize Content For Social – in Yoast there’s a “share” link where you can upload custom graphics for Facebook (1200 x 630px) and Twitter (1024 x 512px). This makes your content format nicely when people share it, and you can also customize the title + description text.
Paste the code into Yoast (SEO → General → Webmaster Tools):
Authenticate Yoast with Google Search Console (SEO → Search Console).
Wait a few days and you’ll probably see some crawl errors (broken pages):
Use a plugin like Quick Page/Post Redirect (or .htaccess) to redirect these to the correct URLs.
Still in beta, this combines Google’s most people website management tools (Search Console, Analytics, AdSense, PageSpeed Insights) into 1 WordPress plugin. It should be on your radar.
WP Review is my favorite plugin for adding rich snippets (here’s a page I use it on). It supports 14 data types, looks great, has 16 pre-styled templates, and is maintained by the developers at MyThemeShop. It’s reliable, lightweight, and includes user reviews. There’s also a free version.
Why I DON’T use these rich snippet plugins:
- All In One Schema – free but minimal settings and customization options
- WP Rich Snippets – abandoned by the developer (no plugin updates/support)
Why I use WP Review Pro:
- Design is much better than All In One Schema
- Compatible with PHP 7+ (unlike WP Rich Snippets)
- 16 pre-styled templates which are highly customizable
- The plugin developer (MyThemeShop) keeps it updated
- Supports 14 data types including the most common reviews + recipes
- Multiple rating systems and option to include (moderated) user reviews
- Free version and pro version are both solid, pro version has more features
Why would a table of contents plugin be on my SEO plugin list?
Because adding a TOC to long pages/posts has HUGE benefits. Google says…
What That Means For You:
- Better chance of being awarded jump-to links in Google using named anchors
- People can link to specific sections on your post (not just your single permalink)
- People can immediately find what they want, and spend more time on your page
You can also code it in HTML/CSS which is what I did.
One day, WordPress stopped adding alt text to images automatically (not cool).
Thankfully, this plugin will do it for you. Just install it and it will use the image file name as the alt text. That means you can stop wasting your time writing alt text for every single image, like I used to. Just remember to label your image file name before uploading them to WordPress.
Still the best way to check all broken links.
Detects broken links in pages, posts, comments, images, and even redirects. Dr. Link Check is good, but Broken Link Checker lets you fix them inside WordPress with 1-click options to edit or unlink each one. Of course, not having broken links on your website can improve your SEO.
Warning: this plugin continuously runs scans and sucks up high amounts of bandwidth. That’s why you should fix all broken links then IMMEDIATELY delete the plugin when you’re done.
Shame on you – changing permalinks! It’s OK, sometimes you need to.
How To Setup A Redirect: Install it and go to “Quick Redirects.” Enter the old URL + new URL.
Find Crawl Errors: Go to crawl errors in Yoast’s Google Search Console section to see broken pages, then use the plugin to redirect them to the correct page/post (not just your homepage).
Resets publish dates to current date, making content look fresh…
This is an easy way to increase click-through rates. Of course, people might wonder why your content says it was updated when it actually wasn’t. It’s definitely a little cheap, but it works.
Step 1: Find the entry meta section of your blog (the section at the very top of your posts) which for me is in the Genesis Simple Edits settings. Now include the post modified date.
What it should look like on your posts:
Step 2: Enable ‘date in snippet preview’ in Yoast (SEO > Search Appearance > Content Types).
Step 3: Install the Republish Old Posts plugin and configure the settings. You can choose how often the plugin resets your publish dates under “post age before eligible for republishing.”
Spoiler: Yoast claims their premium plugins lift heaven and earth, when in reality you will probably not see any direct improvements just by purchasing their WordPress SEO plugins.
- Redirect manager – use the free Quick Page/Post Redirect plugin.
- Internal linking suggestions – do you really need a plugin for this?
- Multiple focus keywords – doesn’t always detect partial match keywords.
- Content insights – shows 5 top used words (keyword density barely matters).
- Social preview – as long as you’re uploading social media images, you’re OK.
- Support – I have heard many stories of them just referring people to tutorials.
Yoast Video SEO Plugin ($69/year) – create a video sitemap and markup pages so video thumbnails appear in Google Videos. Of course, most people go to Google’s regular search engine, so this will likely only pay off if you’re creating lots of videos especially how-to style.
Yoast Local SEO Plugin ($69/year) – adds a KML file, schema.org, and the option to embed a Google Map and store locator. Embedding a Google Map is easy, and most information Yoast “optimizes” for is already pulled from your Google My Business page. Yoast says this plugin “tells Google everything it needs to know to put you on top in local search results” which is not true considering Google’s local ranking factors have little to do with Yoast’s local SEO plugin.
Yoast WooCommerce SEO Plugin ($49/year) – enables rich pins for Pinterest.
10. WP Rocket
So which cache plugin is best? WP Rocket of course.
Why WP Rocket Is #1 In Facebook Polls
- It’s easy to configure.
- It yields fast load times.
- It has extensive documentation.
- It shouldn’t break your site (like some cache plugins).
- It has tons of features most cache plugins don’t – lazy loading photos/videos/iframes, database cleanup, integration with Cloudflare/StackPath/other CDNs, hosting Google Analytics tracking code locally, Sucuri integration, plus they’re always adding new ones.
Speed is a ranking factor (duh).
Here are some great plugins for speeding up WordPress.
I use many of them on my site and was able to get 100% GTmetrix scores.
See a glimpse of your Google Analytics directly in WordPress.
This plugin “automatically detects your settings and configures your website to run over https.” Of course, you still need an SSL to use it, but Really Simple SSL makes it easy to set it up.
- Mixed content fixer
- Enable WordPress 301 redirection to SSL
- Enable 301 .htaccess redirect
Why is a search/replace plugin on the list?
Because if you changed www or http(s) versions, you will need to bulk update all links on your website to reflect the new version. That’s where this plugin comes into play – I suggest HTTPS and non-www. Simply search the old version of your domain and replace it with the new one.
Cool Trick: if you use the same image on multiple pages, this is an easy to way update them all.
Spam kills blogs. JetPack says…
The Anti-Spam plugin is captcha-free and does a superb job filtering spam comments, while leaving the good ones. Spam is a huge problem with WordPress. This plugin will save you time.
Posting updates your Google My Business page has becoming increasingly important in Google’s 2018 local search ranking factors. This plugin publishes your WordPress content directly to your Google My Business Page. It’s still in the early stages, but has terrific reviews.
Here are some of the plugin settings:
If you’re using a StudioPress theme or Genesis Framework (which I recommend), you need to be using StudioPress plugins. These are on my list because they are lightweight, reliable, and will keep your load time (and chances of errors) to a minimal, making your site run smoothly.
Other SEO Tools
I hope this list was helpful! If you have questions about any of these WordPress SEO plugins feel free to drop me a line in the comments and I’ll be glad to help you out. Remember, I have lots of tutorials on Yoast, WordPress speed optimization, and other SEO-related tutorials. If you have a question about those, please leave a comment on that specific tutorial. Finally, if you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend who might like it too – I’d appreciate that.